The EU has supported 14 African-led peace support operations in 18 different countries in Africa
Africa and the EU face common challenges and new threats to international and regional peace and security, which have an impact on the stability of the two continents. Under the joint strategic priority area 'Strengthening resilience, peace, security and governance', the AU and EU recognise that these elements are closely linked. Peace and security is at the heart of the Africa-EU partnership for sustainable development, prosperity and resilience of societies; it is important to focus on strengthening human security and recognising that young people often constitute the majority of the population of countries affected by armed conflict. The Partnership pursues strong cooperation for effective, inclusive and accountable governance, to combat corruption, and recognise the role of civil society, the media and democratic institutions. The AU and EU are committed to enhancing joint efforts for environmental resilience, climate change mitigation and the promotion of sustainable resources management, and recognise the pressing threat to the achievement of sustainable development globally.
Key areas of cooperation
Strengthening health systems, emergency preparedness and prevention
Bolstering the ability to detect, prevent and respond to disease outbreaks, strengthening health systems, building capacity for emergency preparedness and response, and supporting sanitation and provision of clean water.
Implementing an integrated approach to violent conflict and crises
Taking an integrated approach to violent conflict and crises including consideration of the humanitarian-development nexus.
Enhancing joint efforts for climate change mitigation and adaptation, while promoting sustainable resources management
The EU and AU are committed to full implementation of the Paris Agreement and, as partners in UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Their joint aim is to continue enhancing resilience to the impacts of climate change through considered actions and policies, notably conflict prevention, mediation and peacebuilding processes. Commitments include: undertaking joint efforts in climate change mitigation and adaptation; disaster risk management and reduction; promoting the sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems; and addressing illegal exploitation of natural resources and wildlife trafficking. To this end, partners are fostering the use of space-based technologies and information such as the European earth observation programme Copernicus and the GMES – Africa initiative.
Supporting the operationalisation of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA)
The key objective in this area is to strengthen dialogue and institutional cooperation by supporting the implementation of 'African solutions for African problems', as envisioned by the African Union's Agenda 2063 to 'silence the guns by 2020'. The cooperation between the AU and EU is important to help enable the full operationalisation of APSA.
Continuing support to African peace and security activities and sustainable financing
The AU and EU acknowledge the successful deployment of African peace support operations (PSOs) as well as EU common security and defence policy (CSDP) missions. Ongoing AU reform efforts and actions to secure sustainable financing are important stepping stones to strengthen this process. The two unions reaffirm the importance of support for AU peace operations authorised by the UN Security Council and welcome the commitment by Africa to contribute towards the Peace Fund. The partners recognise the important role of African regional organisations in peace and security and also support the active role of youth and women in prevention, management and mediation of conflicts.
Strengthening dialogue and institutional cooperation as well as coordinating initiatives to address peace and security challenges
Intensifying exchanges, expertise, capacity building and experience sharing in the fight against terrorism, violent extremism and radicalisation, in all its forms. Promoting coordinated regional, inter-regional and global initiatives to prevent conflict and crises, provide mediation and preventative diplomacy, and post conflict reconstruction and development. Strengthening cooperation and partnership to address other peace and security challenges such as the trafficking of illicit drugs, human beings and weapons, child soldiers, the proliferation and use of illicit weapons, illegal exploitation of natural resources, and maritime insecurity. Promoting agendas for the peace and security of women and youth and increasing their role in the prevention and resolution of conflict, peacebuilding and peacekeeping.
Supporting and promoting democratic governance, human rights and the African Governance Architecture (AGA)
Supporting the African Union aspiration and commitment to promoting democratic governance and human rights via the framework of the African Governance Architecture (AGA), enhancing the links with the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA).
Promoting good governance and combatting corruption
Promoting accountable, transparent, inclusive and responsive governance. Joining efforts to combat corruption, illicit financial flows and tax avoidance in the private and public sectors on the two continents, in order to foster sustainable development, particularly since 2018 is the African Union's year of 'Winning the fight against corruption: A sustainable path for Africa’s transformation'.
Strengthening local administration
Recognising the important role that local administration plays and the need to strengthen its capacity and improve coordination between local, regional and national levels.
Committing to a people-centred partnership, transparent, accountable and inclusive institutions
The EU and AU are committed to a people-centred partnership where citizens participate in social, economic and political development, and where institutions deliver public services effectively. In this regard, the partners aim to strengthen digital Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) and the wider employment of e-Governance.
Political dialogue aimed at enhancing democracy, good governance and human rights
The partners are committed to political dialogue aimed at enhancing democracy, good governance and human rights, in line with the provisions of the UN Charter, the African Union Constitutive Act and the EU Lisbon Treaty. An important aim is to work together to ensure the successful implementation of the 10-year Action Plan of the African Human and Peoples’ Rights Decade. The partners reaffirm their commitment to achieving gender equality, reducing other inequalities by building peaceful and inclusive societies, and enhancing sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights in line with SDG 5, national laws, and the Maputo Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women.
The AU and EU vehemently reject impunity, and reiterate their commitment to fighting it at national, regional and international levels by enhancing political dialogue on international criminal justice, including on the issue of universal jurisdiction.
Cooperating on election observation
Recognising the need to increase confidence in democratic processes and continued cooperation on election observation and dialogue on democratic governance, with a particular focus on the role of youth.
Strengthening domestic resources mobilisation
Good governance plays a critical role in creating an enabling environment for attracting investments, therefore the partners are determined to strengthen the mobilisation and effective use of domestic resources as agreed in the Addis Ababa action agenda, and supporting the principles of the Addis tax initiative.
Promoting corporate social responsibility
Promoting corporate social responsibility and responsible business conducted by national and multinational corporations in accordance with international standards, such as the UN Guiding principles on business and human rights.
Read the full Declaration of the 5th AU-EU Summit
The key EU financial instrument to support cooperation with Africa in peace and security is the African Peace Facility (APF). The Pan-African Programme (PanAf) also supports this area of cooperation through various actions on human rights, election observation and governance.